MANILA, Philippines – Korean amateur Hwang Kang Yul fought back with a closing 35 at the front to save a three-over 75 in harsh conditions then watched Rufino Bayron choke at the finish to grab a one-stroke lead in a rain-halted second round of the P1-million ICTSI Calatagan Challenge in Batangas on Thursday.
Hwang, who shot a flawless 67 to tie Bayron for the first round lead Wednesday, made four bogeys in a birdie-less stint at the back for a 40 in the morning session.
But the 19-year-old Riviera bet recovered with a slew of pars and a birdie on the sixth for that 75 and threatened to upstage the local pro field with a 142.
Heavy mid-morning rains, spawned by Typhoon Ofel, forced the organizing Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. to suspend play for over an hour and Bayron and the rest of the afternoon group struggled in tough, soggy condition at resumption, sending the scores soaring.
Bayron had looked forward to a solid finish after birdying the par-5 13th for the second straight day that checked a bogey-riddled 39 at the front. But he bogeyed the last two holes and wound up with a 76 to drop to second at 143.
Mhark Fernando turned in the day’s lone under par card of 71 as he joined Bayron in second, well within sight of the top P200,000 purse heading to the final 18 holes of the tournament serving as the 13th leg of the 15-stage circuit sponsored by ICTSI.
Asian Tour and ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour No. 1 Juvic Pagunsan, who opened with an eagle-aided 72, turned in an awful round of 10-over 82, marred by a quadruple bogey on the par-4 10th. He safely made the cut (157) with a 154 but lay 12 shots off Hwang at joint 30th.
Christopher delos Santos carded a second straight 73 to share fourth with Orlan Sumcad, who hobbled with a 75, at 146, while Marvin Dumandan and Arnold Villacencio skied to 77s after a pair of 70s for joint sixth at 147.
The rest also stood too far behind the top three placers with defending champion Jhonnel Ababa scoring a 78 for joint eighth with Charles Hong, winner at Pueblo de Oro, who had 77, and Joenard Rates, who had a 79, at 148.
Elmer Salvador carded a 76 for 159 in a tie with Richard Sinfuego (77), Jerson Balasabas and Anthony Fernando, who both had 75s.
The other backers of the tournament are Empire Golf, Titleist, Footjoy, Callaway, TaylorMade, Mizuno, Srixon, Nike Golf, Custom Clubmakers and Sharp with Balls, Studio 23, Pinoygolfer.com and Inquirer Golf as media partners.